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From: "Mike Wikan" <mww@n...>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 04:58:31 -0400
Subject: *NEWS FLASH!*

Astronomers discover planet orbiting nearby star

<Picture: graphic>April 24, 1997
Web posted at: 10:42 p.m. EDT (0242 GMT) 

NEW YORK (AP) -- Astronomers announced on Thursday the discovery of a
Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a nearby star, boosting confidence that
there are many more planets to be found. 

The object orbiting Rho Coronae Borealis is hardly the first to be
discovered circling another star -- depending on how you count, it's
somewhere in the ninth to 13th range. 

But it is still significant, astronomers say, because it fills in a
gap in their planet collection and reinforces their belief that more

The discovery was announced Thursday by Robert Noyes of the
Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Astrophysical Observatory and seven
other astronomers. It is to be reported in a future issue of
Astrophysical Journal Letters. 

"It's a very nice discovery," said Alan Boss, an astronomer at the
Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C. "Even a single discovery like
this can make people stop and rethink everything that's happened so

The new planet lies about 23 million miles from its star, or about a
quarter the distance from the sun to Earth. The star itself is close
by astronomical standards, about 50 million light years from Earth. 

Because the planet is closer to its star than Mercury is to the sun,
its surface temperature is estimated at 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
That's much too hot to support known life, but there's a good chance
that more livable planets could be orbiting Rho Coronae Borealis or a
similar star. 

"There could well be many smaller planets in these systems that we
just can't see by present techniques," Noyes said. Current technology
can detect a planet of the size and at the distance of Jupiter or
Saturn, but is not sophisticated enough to find Earth-like planets
around other stars. 

To date, the planets that have been found around other stars fall into
two broad categories, Boss said: hot Jupiters and cold Jupiters. 

Hot Jupiters orbit very close to their stars, within about 10 million
miles, while cold Jupiters lie much farther out, at 100 million miles
or more. Both types are giants, ranging from Jupiter's size -- which
is 300 times Earth's by mass -- to several times that big. 

The new planet lies more or less between those two groups. "We're sort
of getting them across the entire spectrum," Boss said. 

I hearby claim this system in the name of the NARN REGIME!!
"The eyes of G'Quon burned with holy fire as the Shadow demons writhed
in rings of flame."

Warleader W'Kan
Narn Regime High Command

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